Ohio Legionnaires bring Be the One to schools

Ohio Legionnaires bring Be the One to schools

Members of American Legion Post 221 in Massillon, Ohio, recently took the opportunity to recognize teachers and share the Legion’s Be the One suicide prevention mission.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day last week, Post 221 visited 18 elementary schools and delivered teachers a tumbler with hearts, American flags, Be the One stickers and thank you cards.

“I thought it would be a good idea to say how much we love our teachers, and it would be good to go visit them and share about Be the One,” said Post 221 Commander Larry Stottsberry.

Stickers of The American Legion emblem were placed on the back of the tumblers “so when they use the cup they see that we care for them,” Stottsberry said. The American flags were for the teachers to use however they like, with many of them telling post members it would go on their home’s front porch. “It was really good that we could do that for them.” And the homemade thank you cards had a photo of Post 221 members that was placed in each teacher’s lounge.

As Stottsberry handed out Be the One stickers, he shared with teachers and principals how they could visit betheone.org to learn more about the Legion’s suicide prevention mission and the resources available.

“The teachers have access to listening to the students, they notice everything that goes on at home and if a student doesn’t want to talk to their parents, the next best thing is a teacher,” Stottsberry said. “If the teachers hear about a student or even a parent (in crisis), then they would know how to help with Be the One.”

Stottsberry said that “it felt really good” for he and the other post members – Pat Patterson, Howard Marrotto, Barrett Scott and Rich Mortland – to recognize the teachers. “They don’t get recognized enough for all they do.” And the post plans to visit high schools this spring and provide the same recognition and education on Be the One.